Plane crashes in NE Venezuela with 9 on board

Updated 2017-07-05 14:25:28 Xinhua

A private plane with nine people on board crashed on Tuesday in the northeastern Venezuelan state of Nueva Esparta, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said.

The Gulfstream jet, registered with the presidential office, specifically the Coordinated Service of Air Transport (SATA), had a mechanical failure that caused it to plummet, he said.

"The national government activated search and rescue efforts to locate the aircraft and its crews," Reverol said.

A 100-member contingent of the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) was mobilized to search for the crash site and victims, whose identities were not released.

The crash occurred around 1 p.m. local time (1730 GMT) along the state's coastline, Reverol said, adding that the plane was flying towards the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia, in the northern state of Vargas.

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